Help How hard is it to post a thread?

Discussion in 'Message Board Help & Notices' started by Tom McIntyre, Feb 24, 2019.

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  1. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    I have had a number of people say they cannot figure out how to start a thread.

    I am beginning to think it is because the action button is at the upper right and newcomers just do not look for it there. It is unlikely that anyone has trouble once it has been pointed out, but I noticed that our software developers XenForo us a Quick Thread feature on most of their forums.

    Here is a screen shot of one of XenForo's forums open to the thread list and awaiting a new thread.

    At the top of the thread list, there is a one line form with the question "What's on your mind?" Do we need something like that here? We will have when we eventually upgrade to XenForo 2.1 later this year, but it may be more urgent than that.

    If I have had 5 people ask how to post a thread, there may have been 50 more that just gave up and went elsewhere with whatever was on their mind.
    upload_2019-2-24_0-4-24.png
     
  2. KurtinSA

    KurtinSA Registered User
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    The green box scrolls off the screen when I look around a thread listing...is there a way to keep it more visible.

    Is there a sticky somewhere for new members? When people register for the forum, do they receive some kind of email which welcomes them as well as directs them to some stickies about basic organization/operation of the forum? On a VB forum that I admin, I created a sticky with screen shots for starting a thread, posting a reply, uploading images to a reply, details about private conversations, etc.

    Kurt
     
  3. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    That's more like facebook with that there. I have never seen it like that on any forms I use but if people are more used to facebook perhaps it would help.
     
  4. Dick C

    Dick C Registered User

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    Perhaps the terminology "...Thread" should be changed to "....Topic" or something else.

    I am against anything that takes up more space like another line on the screen.
     
  5. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    It probably should be "topic" or "discussion." Topic is a little confusing since the forums themselves are about topics.

    Some forums that use the Quick Thread feature as illustrated above also automatically post it in the correct forum and send the poster a notice of where it is. It relieves the newcomer of need to learn our organization. The standard method is still available when Quick Thread is used.

    At one time we intended that the new discussion "call to action" should float above the primary flow of information on the screen. That approach is also commonly used in more modern settings, but our original testers found it too confusing to deal with and we abandoned the idea. It did have the great benefit that it was always available. We asked our software configuration team to put it in the navigation bar but were told that was essentially impossible. I believe it broke the condensed screen format for smartphones.
     
  6. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    I was going to say the same thing: "thread" doesn't mean anything to someone not familiar with message boards.
    "Discussion" is getting a lot of use, but it might be the best understood word here too.
     
  7. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Thread is historic and associated with mailing lists which were the first form of bulletin boards. The email clients still have the ability to follow a thread of email messages. Some can even ignore the subject line if the message is a replay in a thread.

    i don't know what name one might give to the things on Facebook or Twitter. i suppose the hashtags replace the discussion topic.
     
  8. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
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    It doesn't seem hard at all. You go to a Forum and there's a green button if you want to start a new thread. I've been around for a while though so I'm pretty comfortable with the MB.

    Maybe there could be a "Forum" for New Users with general rules and perhaps a Welcome Thread from each of the Forums. Just the basics.
    Perhaps that might help someone struggling to find their way around?

    Even the FAQ area seems to be geared towards established Members.

    When you go to the Clock Repair Forum and you'll see this permanent Thread "NEW TO THE MESSAGE BOARD? Read this for tips."

    If there is already something like that for the Message Board, I haven't stumbled upon it yet.

     

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